As the media took in Wednesday’s mini-camp practice from the sidelines at Winter Park, phones simultaneously alerted the group to a Vikings press release: Randy Moss and Ahmad Rashad were on the premises to accept and discuss their inductions to the Minnesota Vikings ‘Ring of Honor’.
The Vikings have 22 members of their ‘Ring of Honor’. Cris Carter’s familiar No. 80 can be seen up there, as he is number one all-time receiving leader for Minnesota. The two wide receivers going into the ring of fame this year were not far behind him on that list. Moss ranks second on the all-time Vikings receiving list, Rashad checks in at seventh.
Moss spoke first, and addressed some of the pros and cons of his career and what got him this far. Moss even apologized to those he rubbed the wrong way while he was here saying that “it was just my love of the game of football” to him, nothing else mattered at the time.
Moss was very gracious on the podium. First he thanked God for gifting him with the ability to play, and then the Vikings owners for running their organization the right way. “I think a big thank you is owed to the Wilf family. They followed through on all promises they said they wanted to do here. New stadium, new facility, bringing in old retired players back to be a part of something like this. Not every organization does that.”
He said he has let “bygones be bygones” when it came to any ill-will between the Vikings and Moss stemming from his two stints in Minnesota. He even went into detail after expressing he wished he could have just played his whole career as a Viking: “I really honestly think I got traded out of here because I only cared about the game of football. I know that seems weird and sounds weird. But I didn’t really do anything outside of the game of football. I didn’t go anywhere; I didn’t like to mingle a lot. I only cared about football man. And I think that was probably one of my worst attributes.”
Moss got extremely emotional and was brought to tears when he was asked what he would say to the late former Vikings coach Denny Green if he were here today. On the man who brought him into the NFL, he said “I don’t know. I don’t know. On draft day I don’t know why I was treated the way I was treated on draft day but Coach Green gave me an opportunity. And I told him coach you’re not going to regret this. So you asked me what I would say to him? Man, I would probably just fall into his arms and give him a hug there’s really no words that I could tell him. The man passed away without me really really really giving him my love and thanks for what he was able to do for me and my family.”
It was clear the connection Moss had with Green went beyond just the football field. It was Denny’s confidence in Randy that bonded the two of them.
Ahmad Rashad spoke after Moss left the podium, and echoed much of what Randy had to say. The Vikings ‘Ring of Honor’ came as not only a surprise to the former wide receiver Vikings fans remember from the 70’s and 80’s, but an immense moment in his life. “It probably is the biggest and most important thing that’s ever happened to me. I’ve won emmy awards, receiving titles and everything, but this is closer to my heart.” Rashad added “I’m a firm believer that you do your work and then whatever happens, happens. I was hoping that one day I would make it. I don’t think there’s anything in my athletic career that could top this honor.”
When you settle into your seats at US Bank stadium come September, you will now see the numbers 84 and 28 rightfully on display. Congratulations to Randy Moss and Ahmad Rashad on becoming the 23rd and 24th members of the Vikings ‘Ring of Honor’.